Wednesday, 29 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day twenty nine - Watch the clouds.

Watch the Clouds - Elizabeth Anne
Turn your gaze towards the heavens and watch the fluffy clouds float by. In today's modern life, we can easily access information on the weather forecast from television programs, radio stations and apps therefore, plan what to wear and any social plans that may be affected. However, have you thought how people used to forecast the weather? Before technology became so prominent in our lives, we used to turn our gaze towards the clouds as certain shapes would foretell the weather. This was a vital skill that people relied on. However, in present day, we tend to make out pretty shapes and gaze dreamily at the little cotton fluff balls. Although wouldn't it be boring staring up at a cloudless sky? So for 30 Days Wild, why not lie back and watch the clouds float by?

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day twenty eight - Identify a wild flower.

Identify a Wildflower - Elizabeth Anne
Wild flowers are abundant throughout our countryside, from hedgerows to woodlands and roadsides to gardens. I love walking through the countryside and seeing wild blooms unfurling their petals and turning their faces towards the sunshine. There are lots of resources to help you identify a wild flower, including books, websites and apps. So next time you're out walking, take time to observe the wild flowers around you.

Monday, 27 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day twenty seven - Draw and colour the countryside.

Colour the Countryside - Elizabeth Anne
Many artists seek inspiration from the countryside from fauna to flora. One such lady from the Edwardian era named Edith Holden created the Country Diary of the Edwardian Lady, which in 1906 recorded her words and illustrations of the changing seasons in the English countryside. Beautifully depicting soft watercolour illustrations and poetic writing make this a truly wonderful book. So for 30 Days Wild, why not gather your pens and pencils and enjoy the relaxing benefits of drawing and colouring?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day twenty six - Go strawberry picking.

Strawberry Picking - Elizabeth Anne
The quintessential art of strawberry picking has long since been imprinted on our British consciousness with many historical references dating back to Medieval times when newlyweds enjoyed strawberries with borage and soured cream, for their wedding breakfast believing them to have aphrodisiac properties, however, the strawberry's earliest reference was in Roman times around 200BC. A quote by the 17th century English writer Dr. William Butler, aptly describes the berry, "doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did."

Saturday, 25 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day twenty five - Watch and listen to birds.

Birdwatch - Elizabeth Anne
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a bird hopping cheerfully around your garden or perched on a feeder helping themselves to seed and nuts. I try to keep the feeders in our garden topped up (especially throughout the winter when food can be scarce) and gives me a warm feeling when I see birds flutter into the garden for their breakfast/lunch/dinner. I do enjoy spotting birds (and getting quite good at naming them!) and where I live has a good mix of wild birds including our resident Mr and Mrs pheasant, robins, blackbirds, crows and rooks, blue tits, magpies, herons, great tits, pied wagtails but there are too many to list but nevertheless are beautiful and a pleasure to see. One of my favourite poems by John Clare 'The Skylark' has a wonderful description of their nesting habits and is aptly put: "had they the wing, like such a bird, themselves would be too proud, and build on nothing but a passing cloud."

Friday, 24 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day twenty four - Practice mindfulness in the countryside.

Practice Mindfulness - Elizabeth Anne
Ever thought of practising mindfulness outdoors? You don't have to go far, you could simply sit in your garden. Being outdoors (preferably somewhere peaceful) is a great way to practice mindfulness and becoming aware of the present moment. There are many definitions and descriptions of 'mindfulness' and can be a little confusing, however, put simply, it is the awareness of ourselves and the world around us. There are many books, apps and websites devoted to becoming mindful (I have listed a few of my favourites below) and techniques you can employ throughout the day, whether you have 5 minutes or a luxurious whole afternoon to spare.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day twenty three - Pick wild flowers.

Kniveton, Ashbourne.
Pick Wild Flowers - Elizabeth Anne
There is something relaxing and therapeutic about picking and collecting wild flowers, the end result of a pitcher jug filled with blooms standing proudly in your home as a reminder of the walk in the countryside.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day twenty two - Visit a farm shop.

Chatsworth House, Bakewell.
Farm Shop - Elizabeth Anne
Saviour the delights of fresh produce, wholesome foods and tasty treats at your local farm shop. All the products are sourced locally (so you know purchasing will help local businesses and farmers) and they have a fantastic variety, from fresh fruit and vegetables to scrumptious cakes and savory tarts. Personally, I love visiting our farm shop as they have so much to choose from and I think tastes far better. If I am going to cook or bake something extra special, this will be the first place I head to.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day twenty one - Go on a walk.

Kniveton, Ashbourne.
Go on a Walk - Elizabeth Anne
There can be one thing said for owning a Springer Spaniel is that they never tire and never get fed up of walking. There is actually something therapeutic in walking alongside my pooch and watching him enjoy the freedom of the countryside. He never fails to amuse me when he reaches the gates on our morning walk and as a gentleman, stands back to allow me to pass through first and gives me that 'can I come too?' look. Springer Spaniels are typically bred for flushing out game, although are also used in the police as sniffer dogs. The term 'Springer' comes from its historical hunting role, where the dog would flush (spring) birds into the air.

Monday, 20 June 2016

DIY | Create a butterfly garden.

Create a Butterfly Garden - Elizabeth Anne
National Insect Week (20th - 26th June 2016) encourages you to learn more about insects. I can remember my childhood days filled with making mud pies, watching butterflies flutter from flower to flower and the gentle hum of bumblebees. In a world that's ever changing and fast-pace, let's just take a step back and appreciate our wildlife. So to celebrate National Insect Week, I shall be showing you how to create a haven for butterflies in your garden. Apart from their beautiful, not to mention colourful appearance, a recent study by DEFA showed a 61% decline in butterflies since 1976. Such a shame. So let's encourage our colourful friend back into our gardens with these simple steps.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day five - Make a cordial.

Elderflower Cordial - Elizabeth Anne
Just when elderflowers are coming into season, this cordial is easy to make and not too sweet. It is so refreshing and wonderful at this time of the year. However, in the spirit of 30 Days Wild, I am challenging you to make any cordial (although this post is how to make elderflower cordial). You can find lots of homemade cordial recipe ideas here.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day four - Bake with flowers.

Bake with Flowers - Elizabeth Anne
When we think of baking, we tend to think of scrumptious recipes involving wholesome ingredients but have you ever thought of baking with flowers? Flowers add a lovely floral taste to cakes, biscuits and cupcakes. My favourites are rose-water cupcakes and lavender shortbread. There are lots of recipes and I have listed a few useful books. Don't forget to sign up to 30 Days Wild (there is still time!) So for today's post I have a wonderful lavender buttermilk scone recipe.

Free Summer iPhone wallpapers.

Summer iPhone Wallpapers - Elizabeth Anne
Summer is fast approaching so why not add a little sunshine to your phone with these pretty wallpapers?

Friday, 3 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day three - Take a photograph.

Take a Photograph - Elizabeth Anne
Weather on your camera or on your phone, why not take a wildlife-inspired photograph? There are all kinds of inspiration around us from wild flowers to wonderful wildlife. It could be on a country walk or sat relaxing in your garden. For day three of 30 Days Wild, I am encouraging you to take a photograph and if you upload to Instagram or Twitter, don't forget the hashtag #30DaysWild. The following snapshots are taken from my Instagram account and are all taken using my phone so you don't need anything fancy! You can check my Instagram here.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day two - D.I.Y Bird Feeders.

DIY Bird Feeders - Elizabeth Anne
As part of 30 Days Wild, day two is a little craft that anyone can do. Create a pretty bird feeder for your garden birds using a few simple ingredients that can be found in your pantry. Missed day one of 30 Days Wild? Click here to read.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

30 Days Wild | Day one - Read a book.

Read a Book - Elizabeth Anne
There is something quintessentially British reading wildlife and nature books delving into our deeply-rooted adoration for all things countryside and wild.
© Elizabeth Anne. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.